Living a Life That Matters
Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.Acts 9:31
Everyone wants to live an effective life. We not only want to do things that matter, but we want to be people who matter. Jesus intends for his followers to be people who matter by equipping them to impact the world around them.… let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).
The earliest followers of Jesus were people whose lives mattered. As the opening passage indicates, their lives clearly impacted their communities because they increased in numbers. This result was possible because they chose to live in the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit. Living in the fear of the Lord describes an on-going lifestyle of surrender to God and the pursuit of His purposes in the world. What matters to God matters most to Jesus’ followers because they are accountable to him alone.
Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Matthew 10:28). Choosing to live in the fear of the Lord brings Jesus’ followers into conflict with the surrounding culture. The trials that result from this conflict stress the believer’s faith. Living in the comfort of the Holy Spirit describes an on-going lifestyle of choosing to trust in God’s care even when circumstances are difficult. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:6-7).
These first believers joined these core principles of effective living in a way that brought the light of Jesus into their worlds. Consider their example. Are you seeking God’s purposes above your own? Are you trusting him when you experience trials because of your faith? Take time today to seek God’s direction and pursue it, entrusting the outcome to him.
Let’s Pray: Father, you are light and in you there is no darkness. I confess that there are times when I pursue my purposes instead of yours. Thank you for shining the light of your presence into my life so that I may know your will. Help me today, Father, to discern your will so that I might serve your purposes. In Jesus’ name, Amen.